About VirtualBox and Solaris

I anticipated before that I was going to put up a virtual machine with VirtualBox where I would run Solaris to help with the porting of xine-lib, and to port also the Sun Audio output plugin to the new interface for 1.2-ac branch.

Well, thanks to the nice people in #xine who helped me, I was able to get a basic Solaris installation up. The trick was not to use the Developer edition of Solaris Express; I’m not sure which kind of Developer are the people at Sun used to, but as a developer, I’d like to choose, not to have stuff forced down my throat. In particular the Developer edition installs a bunch of stuff like StarOffice, which I doubt a developer would find useful unless he’s going to develop against it, which means you need a lot more space, and you end up logged in automatically as root after the first boot… using CDE.

By using the “standard” edition I was able to skip over the installation of a bunch of GNOME stuff (like multimedia players and the like), and to actually get a console when it started, allowing me to make a choice for which interface to use (although it still uses cde-login, seems like GDM is having troubles on there).

I have to say, even if I still dislike GNOME and GTK+, I liked the Nimbus theme that Sun uses by default, so I have created an ebuild for it that can be found in my overlay as x11-themes/gtk-engine-nimbus; I also created one for blueprint (replace nimbus with blueprint in the package name) which seems to have been the previous default theme of JDS.

Anyway, even if the Solaris installation is done, I can’t upgrade it or actually start working with it, as I can’t seem to get the network to work. On Linux side I created a br0 bridge with initially just my eth0 (Ethernet card connected to the local network segment), then I’ve created a TAP device vbox0, up with IP, added to the bridge, and told VirtualBox to use that one for Host networking; on Solaris side I gave the interface a static IP address of the same subnet, but the ping between my real box and the virtual, and the virtual and the whole network, only works for a few seconds after resume (if I got it suspended, if I start from scratch it never works, probably because the few seconds are already passed, by the time I reach the prompt).

If somebody has experience with VirtualBox and can suggest me what the problem might be, it would probably save me the hassle of fighting with it for days and days until I get it to work. I do need virtual machines to continue my work on xine, there are too many things that requires me to test on non-Linux and non-FreeBSD systems.

Update: seems like I should have double checked the site: the networking problem is known, seems like I won’t be able to run Solaris on VirtualBox. Sigh, back to VMware Server, I suppose.